16 June 2021 | Various times Online

DPC Members are invited to join us for ‘Connecting the Bits’ 2021, which will take place online in two parts to enable members in different time zones to attend.

Who is the event for?

'Connecting the Bits' is for DPC Members only and designed to privilege operational staff working directly on digital preservation. We are particularly keen to hear from three groups:

  • Junior staff recently appointed and looking for opportunities to build their professional networks;
  • New entrants to digital preservation seeking to apply professional know-how to this new field;
  • Experienced practitioners who might not normally attend the DPC Board but have clear insights into the challenges of digital preservation in their own institutions and are well placed to steer the DPC's practical programme.

Senior staff, researchers and students are also welcome, though it is the practical know how that will be most prominent.

How does it work?

Connecting the Bits will take place on Wednesday 16th June in two parts (plus informal networking session) to enable members from different time-zones to participate as follows:

Part 1

07:00 - 10:00 UTC

Networking Session

11:30 - 12:30 UTC

Part 2

14:00 - 17:00 UTC

In each part we will begin with an exciting programme of fast-paced lightning talks, giving members the opportunity to take the floor and exchange ideas, showcase work and discuss key themes. We will then turn our attention to the next 12 months and ask Members what we should add to the DPC programme of activities for 2021-2022.

This year is particularly important as we will also ask Members to help shape our upcoming 5 year Strategic Plan which will be relaunched in 2022.

Both parts will be linked by an hour of informal social networking and a chance for members to relax, connect and chat.

Outline Programme*

Time from event start Activity

00 – 30 mins

Welcome and introduction to Connecting the Bits

30 – 35 mins

Break: Move into groups

35 - 55 mins

(20 minutes each)

Part 1: Stream 1 (a)

Managing Legal Basis
Helen Dafter, Postal Museum

This discussion will explore how other organisations manage legal rights, especially third party rights (e.g. consultants, artists, media companies) in digital material, particularly where the terms of the agreement between the depositor and the third party are not clear.
Specifically how is this approached in a) Public Record context, and b) in a business context?
How are organisations documenting the legal rights associated with records, especially in the absence of a digital preservation system? How are organisations ensuring these rights are taken into account when providing access, if through a digital preservation system how does this work, what are the pitfalls to be aware of?

Lightning Talk type: Discuss

Attendees, login to sign up for this session

Part 1: Stream 2 (a)

Preserving documents saved on websites – an appeal for advice
Ben White, Bank of England

Like other institutions, the Bank of England’s website contains thousands of documents saved across its many 100s of web pages. These consist primarily of PDFs, Word documents and Excel spreadsheets. As key records, each should be saved discretely within the Bank’s EDRMs, however, this may not be the case for many of these files, and so the website version may be the only copy we have.

Whilst we will be saving snapshots of the website itself (as WARCs) as a record of Bank activity, we also want to extract these individual documents to save them in their own right. But what is the best approach? Any approach needs to balance time, effort (resource-wise, we have only one archivist who will be donating the majority of their time to digital preservation), cost, whilst, importantly, creating an asset that will be preserved and is accessible now and in the future.

For context, we are in the process of procuring a digital archive with a private cloud. This we will use to ingest all our historically important digital records, including our EDRMs content and webpages.  

Lightning Talk type: Discuss/Learn

Attendees, login to sign up for this session

Part 1: Stream 3 (a)

Preserving (and influencing) new and emerging formats
Sonia Ranade, The UK National Archives

This will be a discussion of the challenges facing the digital preservation community which arise from new and evolving types of digital ‘content’ that need to be archived and preserved. What types of new formats are DPC members currently receiving and/or preserving? What do we expect to receive in the next 2-3 years? What are the challenges and what strategies are being put in place? How might we collectively influence technology providers to try to improve preservation of this content?

Lightning Talk type: Discuss

Attendees, login to sign up for this session


Part 2: Stream 1 (a)

Sustaining Access to Office of Scientific Research and Development (OSRD) Reports
Mark Lopez and Lauren Seroka - Library of Congress

The Digital Content Management section at the Library of Congress collaborated with divisional stakeholders to make accessible 13,885 digitized items from the Office of Scientific Research and Development through the Library’s catalog and rights-restricted online access platform, which relied on sustainable practices and approaches while implementing enhanced telework.

Lightning Talk type: Share

Attendees, login to sign up for this session

Part 2: Stream 2 (a)

Emulation services in the context of UK law
Lee Hibberd, National Library of Scotland

There are a combination of barriers that are limiting access to old legacy content in the UK (think old laptops and disks/disks that are part of your collections). What approaches are people taking to deal with the barriers in order to provide access to the content? What do the services look like? Legal barriers include: The need for software licenses for old operating systems (easy); licenses for the legacy software in the collections; licenses for legacy software that can be used to render legacy files in the collections; data privacy.

Lightning Talk type: Discuss

Attendees, login to sign up for this session

Part 2: Stream 3 (a)

Digital Preservation Education at Aberystwyth University
Sarah Higgins, Aberystwyth University

The Department of Information Studies at Aberystwyth University has completely revised the curriculum for its MA in Archives and Records Management so that students are encouraged to think digital first, and digital preservation is a core topic. This session will share the changes that have been made and the challenges of rolling these out during the COVID year.

Lightning Talk type: Share/Discuss

Attendees, login to sign up for this session

55 – 60 mins

Break: Move into new groups

60 – 80 mins

(20 minutes each)

Part 1: Stream 1 (b)

Assessing digital preservation’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
Lee Hibberd, National Library of Scotland

Organisations have a goal to reduce their GHG with some aiming to achieve this before national carbon neutral targets. How can we assess the digital preservation component of this and what techniques provide useful data to help make intelligent decisions for GHG reductions? This should include the direct emissions of the organisation and of 3rd party services as organisations can’t dump their responsibility onto e.g. Amazon, Google, Microsoft and DPC supporters and blindly claim success. This overlaps with the fascinating Environmental Impact Assessment of the Energy Data Centre Project topic above.

Lightning Talk type: Discuss 

Attendees, login to sign up for this session

Part 1: Stream 2 (b)

Research Priorities for the National Archives of Australia aka How to Eat an Elephant
Rowena Loo, National Archives of Australia

National Archives of Australia has been actively receiving transfers of digital records since the last century, and is currently in a period of change, as our in-house digital archiving solution is being replaced by a commercial off the shelf product with consequent changes to processes, practices and responsibilities. We'll share our current work to respond to the many challenges posed by digital records across the record continuum. Given the enormous amount of work happening both nationally and internationally, as well as internally at the Archives, we need a framework to effectively identify and triage research topics in order to respond effectively to the Archives' most pressing need

Lightning Talk type: Share

Attendees, login to sign up for this session

Part 1: Stream 3 (a)

Educational Flash Game Preservation
Charlie Barbe, UNHCR

Against All Odds is an Adobe Flash video game developed by UNHCR designed to teach players about the plight of refugees. Released in 2005, the game has been translated into several languages. With the discontinuity of Flash Player in 2020. It became urgent to think how we can preserve the game, and be able to replay it. With the help of the gaming community, we were able to preserve and make this accessible again. 

Lightning Talk type: Share

Attendees, login to sign up for this session


Part 2: Stream 1 (b)

Storing data in the cloud
Lee Hibberd, National Library of Scotland

Last year National Library of Scotland moved 600TB to Amazon Deep Archive to store a 3rd and final copy of our preservation data. We’re happy to talk about our experience and be probed if people can see problems with this approach.

Lightning Talk type: Learn 

Attendees, login to sign up for this session

Part 2: Stream 2 (b)

The Environmental Impact Assessment of the Energy Data Centre Project
Catherine Jones, UKRI/STFC

In Spring 2021, the EDC (based at UKRI/STFC) did a project to determine whether it was possible to assess the impact of our policy on the infrastructure we use to run the service and hence the environmental impact, in this talk I can share the methodology, outcomes and lessons learnt and what we are doing differently as a result. I would be interested in what others have done in this area. 

Lightning Talk type: Share/Learn

Attendees, login to sign up for this session

Part 2: Stream 3 (b)

Love What You Do: Empowering the Digital Preservation Workforce

Sharon McMeekin and Amy Currie, DPC

People with the right skills are the most important resource for successful digital preservation. This talk will give an overview of the ambitious plan for the DPC's Workforce Development programme over the next couple of years, aimed at supporting our members in developing this most important resource. Session attendees will be invited to provide feedback on the plans, and the session will also include an interactive mentimeter survey to gather thoughts on how to shape a proposed project to develop a third edition of The Digital Preservation Handbook.

Attendees, login to sign up for this session


80 – 90 mins

Regroup and reflect

90 – 110 mins

Long Break

110 – 120 mins

Plenary session:  Introduction to RAM results and workshops topics

Attendees, login to watch the DPC RAM update

120 – 125 mins



125 – 160 mins

(45 minutes each)

Break: Move into new groups

Members are welcome to move around these groups during the 45 mins

Stream 1

Workshop a

Stream 1

Workshop b

Stream 1

Workshop c

160 – 180 mins

Feedback and close

 *Subject to change

What to do?

Complete a DPC RAM Assessment and send it to us!

Each year we ask you to complete a DPC RAM Assessment so that we can collate Member data and create benchmarking information to help you plan your digital preservation work and inform our own support activities for the year. There is now a NEW version of DPC RAM released this month but, if you are already part way through an assessment using the previous version, don’t worry – each version is designed to be compatible so please do complete your assessment and send it to us. If you would like help completing your DPC RAM Assessment, please contact Jenny Mitcham who will be happy to provide support.

Please submit your DPC RAM Assessments


Contribute ideas for Lightning Talk topics

Each session will begin with an ‘unconference’ format, with a difference! Whether you have a task you want to work on with other DPC Members, a fresh idea or solution you want to demo, or topics you want to discuss to learn from others’ experience, this part of the programme provides a space for you to achieve all of this. So that you have the opportunity to network, interact and share knowledge between each other, we’re asking DPC Members to tell us what you’d like to Discuss, Learn or Share? And collating these topics, we will build a program of short Lightning Talks for the first part of the day.

Decide on your priority areas

The second part of each session will focus on DPC actions for the coming year, and for the next 5 years (the period of our next Strategic Plan).  In this section of the program, we’ll build upon the trends emerging from the DPC RAM results, as well as the results of a Full Member call for support topics, as we break into working groups to prioritize, discuss and recommend a course of action. Full Members, let us know:

“What upcoming topics or challenges would you like the DPC to provide support on as part of its programme for the next 12 months, and the next 5 years?”



Registration for this event is now closed. If you would like to attend any part of this event, please contact Sarah Middleton.

Can't attend?

If you or colleagues from your organisation are unable to attend either part of the day, please do still:

  • Complete your RAM assessment
  • If you are a Full Member, let us know your priority areas for DPC activities 2021 - 2022.

On the day, we will record the lightning talk sessions and share these with Members only, and we will invite feedback on our proposals for DPC activities after the event, and before we publish our program for next year.

DPC Inclusion & Diversity Policy

The DPC Community is guided by the values set out in our Strategic Plan and aims to be respectful, welcoming, inclusive and transparent. It encourages diversity in all its forms and is committed to being accessible to everyone who wishes to engage with the topic of digital preservation. The DPC asks all those who are part of this community and/or attending a DPC event be positive, accepting, and sensitive to the needs and feelings of others in alignment with our DPC Inclusion & Diversity Policy.


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